Yearly Archives: 2011

Artforum review of Harrisons’ Sierra Nevada Adaption

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

A Sort of Table of Contents, 2011

Read the review.  See the exhibition on the Feldman Gallery site. Force Majeure Works, including Sierra Nevada Adaption, on the Harrison Studio site.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

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Documentation of Kate Foster’s talk

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Kate Foster has posted documentation of her talk at Glasgow Sculpture Studios on the Changeable Places blog.  This includes notes and slides.  She addressed Field Work both in South America and South Africa as well as developing a clear argument around her ethical decision-making – why travel and when to invest in your locality.  Changeable Places talk at Glasgow Sculpture Studios.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

Go to EcoArtScotland

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts to Present Second Annual Award for Sustainable Production at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

LOS ANGELES/EDINBURGH — The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) announces the 2011 Fringe Festival Award for Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August. The CSPA Fringe Festival Award for Sustainable Production is designed to reward ecologically sustainable practice in the production of a fringe show. The winner will be announced Monday, the 22nd of August. The winner will receive a plaque and a feature article in an upcoming edition of the CSPA Quarterly, the CSPA’s print publication highlighting the most exciting work being done in sustainability and the arts.

The award, which debuted last year at the inaugural Hollywood Fringe Festival will be adjudicated by the CSPA Directors, Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright, along with a number of CSPA affiliates. It will be looking at public communication/education, resource use, and transportation in support of presenting a fringe show based on methodology developed by the CSPA itself and San Diego’s Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company, who have created a comprehensive Green Theater Choices Toolkit with a generous grant from the Theater Communications Group.

For the Edinburgh Fringe, Mhora Samuel and Tim Atkinson from The Theatres Trust’s European Regional Development Fund-backed Ecovenue project have helped the CSPA adapt the criteria for a UK audience, providing guidance on UK equivalents to US name brands, as well as providing insight on measuring conventions and policy. The award simply would not have been complete with out their assistance.

Last year’s winner was The Pantry Shelf a satirical comedy that takes place in any ordinary pantry shelf, was produced by Team M&M at Sweet Grassmarket, . Characters are food items most of us have readily available. The story follows the addition of a revolutionary new snack to the shelf: Queenie, a quinoa, date and bark bar. Queenie discovers that her healthy branding doesn’t accurately represent what’s actually inside. The comedy explores branding, consumerism and the corporate control of our diets. It’s also a “love story between a quinoa bar, a bag of Scottish porridge and a sexy block of dark chocolate,” about staying true to yourself.

“We chose The Pantry Shelf as the award winner based on its comprehensiveness,” comments Ian Garrett, Executive Director of the CSPA. “The show raised valid questions that are relevant to everyone’s daily lives, without being heavy handed. Team M&M took great care to ensure the production was produced as environmentally sustainable as possible, and the content of the play was both entertaining and informative.”

“We’ve been working since we started the CSPA on how to provide resources and guidelines for sustainable production to the theatrical community. Both Miranda and myself come from theatrical backgrounds and it is important to us. The fringe festival model provides an ideal platform to introduce these ideas and the award due to the expectations and scale of the shows. It is easier to start the conversation at a fringe level of production than Broadway. By starting with the Hollywood Fringe, our local and the newest fringe festival, and immediately moving to the Edinburgh Fringe, the largest and oldest fringe in the world, we are looking to create the greatest visibility and excitement around the introduction of ideas of sustainability to the largest number of theatre artists at home and away,” says Executive Director Ian Garrett.

To be considered for the award, a production fills out an online questionnaire. Questions range from an inventory of materials used, to what public transportation lines run close to venues, to how themes about sustainability are addressed in their shows. To accommodate the widest variety of productions, sections of the questionnaire that are not applicable to a show, will be omitted from consideration. Shows are encouraged, but not required to provide a CSPA affiliate with tickets to their production to allow a trained eye to look at shows and projects as they exist in the real world.

“Even more so thanwe want someone to score perfectly on the questionnaire we use to evaluate shows, we want theatre artists to look at the questions and think about how it helps to guide their thinking about sustainability in the their art. There may be questions asked in ways they hadn’t thought, and we hope they ask these questions of their next project and the project after that.”

To apply, fringe show producers can head over to the CSPA’s website at http://www.sustainablepractice.org/fringe or email fringe@sustainablepractice.org. Applications for evaluation will be taken up until the end of the festival, though it is encouraged to apply while it is still possible for a CSPA affiliate to view the show. All questions regarding the award by also be be directed to fringe@sustainablepractice.org.

The CSPA was founded by Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright in early 2008 after individually working on each of the programs that now make up the multi-faceted approach to sustainability separately. It provides a network of resources to arts organisations, which enables them to be ecologically and economically sustainable while maintaining artistic excellence. We support the infrastructure of this network by supplying artists with the information, education and intellectual community they need to make the best choices for their sustainability. We do this through three independent programs: CSPA Online Resources, annual CSPA convergence and the CSPA Institute’s curriculum building. We extend these efforts with key partnerships with like minded organisations. Past and Present partnerships have included the University of Oregon, Ashden Directory, Arcola Theatre, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others. Under the umbrella of the CSPA, each program and partnership uses different tactics with their own mission to create a comprehensive and cooperative synthesis in artistic sustainability.

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Considering Sustainble Design @ PQ 2011

Historically, the Prague Quadrennial has been an international exhibition of scenography (stage design), where countries come together to display the best of their theater work and the spirit of their design methodologies. It’s a mass of gatherings. It’s discussions and performances and lectures and guerilla moments in the streets (is that a performance or a conversation? Is she injured or just creating an interesting shape? Is that a flamboyant dress or a costume?). It’s also Scenofest, the educational arm of the Quadrennial, featuring a series of workshops and organized talks.

At DAMU, the Czech Academy of Dramatic Arts, CSPA Executive Director Ian Garrett gathered with Nick Moran of the Central School of Speech & Drama and myself to discuss sustainability in design on a panel led by William Mackwood of York University (best known for hosting the Staging Sustainability conference earlier this year). While no one walked in with a paper dress or noisemaking speakers, some fascinating discourse ensued regarding the nature of performance.

Ian Garrett started off with a powerpoint overview of green practices in the arts. He’s extensively acquainted with the overall carbon impact of the average theater production: length of run, power consumption, material. In the years that he’s been building the CSPA, he’s also been gathering a mass of information on the complexity of the arts’ environmental impact. Garrett brings into the discussion issue of audience transportation (a huge factor in carbon footprint) vs. the potential impact of audiences if they had just stayed at home that night. He also discussed the work of groups like Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company and the Broadway Green Alliance.

Following him was Nick Moran, who focused on the resources on the site Julie’s Bicycle and the need within the green movement to make changes on a small (and totally unsexy) level, like type of toilet paper, while continuously pressing for systematic change in arts production culture. He discussed everything from tungsten lamps to fuel cells from the standpoint of a lighting designer who fiercely believes in sustainability.

I stepped up and discussed my obsession of the past several years—ecologically restorative art, including works from Xavier Cortada and Mierle Ukeles, and some of my own work.

Then Mackwood wrapped up presentations with examples of his current work and research at York and Out of the Box Productions, including a greening of “Opera Erotique,” which used all-LED lighting. He discussed design qualities unique to the famously energy-efficient lighting, including cut-lines on dancers, strobe capabilities, and the ability to fit an entire lighting rig in the trunk of a car. What followed was an interesting and brief discussion of LED design. Nick Moran brought up the fact that, unlike tungsten, LED color properties don’t change as they fade. “Imagine that you’re in a world where, for the first time, your lights change color as they fade out. WHAT?! What have you done? Change it!”

In the roundtable following, balance was a key issue in discussion: between medium and message, between creative and financial needs, between work and decompression.“You’ve gotta make good work, otherwise there’s no point: worthy, dull, theatre does not change anyone’s mind,” said Moran. The audience was a point of debate. Are we trying to change their minds, or just give them more sustainable spectacle? Are we trying to address the needs of their transportation, or just present eco-theater? In a field of limited resources it’s all about priorities, and needs are complex. As performances exploded all over the streets of Prague, a very grounding discourse took place at DAMU. Like every conversation about sustainability, it leads to more questions, more conversations, and a grab-bag of actionable items. Regardless, it’s refreshing to be in a room with sharp minds that are focused on this issue, and there is potential for a wider impact at the next PQ.